On my birthday in 2009, I bought myself one of the first IoT consumer devices – a cute electronic rabbit, called the Nabaztag.
It was brilliant – it could rotate its ears, read out messages, tell the weather and air quality forecast, play music, “sniff“ and recognize RFID tags, blink lights, and even act on voice commands. I consider the Nabaztag to be the great-grandfather of Alexa and Cortana.
In 2012 Motorola had a brilliant idea on how to change the mobile computing landscape. They introduced the LapDock to the world (yes, I guess the pun was intended) – a laptop? like computer dock for your mobile phone. The German marketing slogan for it was: die Zukunft mobiler Computer Technik! (the future of mobile computer technology).
This also describes the problem of the lapdock, it was too much future for 2012. Remember the Android phones of 2012? Using this thing must have been horrible. It also had a steep price point (around $450). Thus it never really revolutionized the phone market.
But today the lapdock can be put to good use. You can turn it into a raspberry pi laptop with a few cables. You can get one for around 60 Euros on eBay every now and then. If you asked me why (a friend did), the short answer is: because we can!
You can find the write-up of the project over at hackster.io and build one to climb up a step on the Raspberry Pi nerd ladder.